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Browns open training camp; Edwards absent

BEREA, Ohio (July 29, 2005) -- Rookie wide receiver Braylon Edwards missed Cleveland's first full-squad practice as the Browns opened training camp without their unsigned first-round draft pick.

General manager Phil Savage said the club sent a new contract proposal to Edwards' agent, Lamont Smith, and remains optimistic the sides will reach an agreement and avoid a lengthy holdout.

"This is like forecasting a hurricane," Savage said. "You know it's going to hit land, but you don't know if it's in a day, two days, two weeks or a month. I don't know."

Edwards was taken with the No. 3 overall selection, behind Miami running back Ronnie Brown and San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 pick who signed a six-year deal earlier this week.

Now that Tampa Bay has signed running back Carnell Williams, the No. 5 pick, the Browns think they have the financial parameters to complete a deal with Edwards.

"We're just volleying back and forth at this point," Savage said. "I'm hopeful something will happen."

Smith did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Actually, Edwards has missed five days of camp. The club's rookies reported July 25 for an orientation program and spent four days working out before the veterans arrived Friday. The team has two practices scheduled for July 30.

Savage said it's not vital to have Edwards in -- yet.

"I don't think it's a huge deal," Savage said. "I think it's important that he be here as soon as he can get here."

The Browns have sent Smith three proposals. One of the reasons for the delay is that it can take 6-to-8 hours to analyze the document, Savage said.

"You want to find out where the possible land mines are," he said. "We've made a good, fair offer."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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